Sheffield Hallam University Rugby Union 2s triumphed in their opening BUCS fixture 31-10 over city rivals University of Sheffield 3s, who struggled to get a foothold in a game played under the lights at Hallam Sports Park.
Sheffield found themselves under pressure from the kick off, and soon enough Hallam managed to convert a penalty early on to open the scoring.
The early lead was one from which Sheffield would never recover. Dominating the game, Hallam’s forwards put constant pressure on the Sheffield line with some excellent ball recycling, a feature which became a key part of the game for the men in crimson.
A lineout soon led to the night’s opening try, which was bundled over in the 18th minute. Hallam’s kicker converted this one, and added six more points through penalties to make it 16-0 at half time.
The hosts started the second half well, scoring soon after the referee’s whistle to make it 21-0. Another was run in soon afterwards, and fears began to mount that Sheffield would be on the end of a rout.
A forward pass denied Hallam a certain try, and immediately following that error Matt Jones broke with some blistering pace on the left wing to open Sheffield’s account.
The woodwork denied kicker Tom Grier, but an excellent example of cross-field kicking gave Jones his second of the night, and spared Sheffield’s blushes to leave the score at 31-10.
As captain Tom Grier confirmed after the match, 18 of the Sheffield 22 were freshers making their debut BUCS appearances, a statistic which tilted the already stacked odds further in Hallam’s favour. A noisy crowd made their presence felt, and arguably influenced some of the ill-discipline which cost Sheffield more than 10 points throughout the match.
“Knock-ons and rucking errors can be worked on in training” Grier told Forge Sport after the game.
Despite imperfections, this fresh Sheffield side did show flickers of promise in an otherwise disappointing night for the visitors.
University of Sheffield RFC 3rd Team: Jones, Westmoreland, Charles, Spoor, Clarke, Brown, Evans, Farmer, Bane, Grier (c), Spinner, Goodman, Jones, Griffiths, Simpson, Ward, Agger, Rowe, Martin, Prickett, Moore
Hallam 31 – 10 University of Sheffield (Tries: Jones 2)